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2006-7 $47 million GST bonus- ask the people how should it be spent: Humphries

By Jey - 6 October 2005 27

Senator Gary Humphries suggests asking the people of Canberra how the expected $47 million 2006-7 GST bonus should be spent.

“The ACT Government will receive $758.6 million in GST revenue in 2006-07, a windfall of $47 million compared with the previous system of Financial Assistance Grants and the State taxes that were abolished by the New Tax System.”

“By giving the community a say in how we spend this money, we increase the chance that it will be used in a socially useful way,” Senator Humphries said.”

Read more about it here

I must admit I would be curious to see what ideas the people of Canberra come up with.

What’s Your opinion?

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27 Responses to
2006-7 $47 million GST bonus- ask the people how should it be spent: Humphries
Kerces 3:04 pm 06 Oct 05

Stanhope’s put out this snarky press release, following up what I said about Gary Humphries having no right to have a say in what the ACT Government does with the money. He also says the community is consulted about what to spend the federal monies on each year. Not yet online so I’ll stick it here:


ACT Senator Gary Humphries had obviously found his move to federal politics unsatisfying and was angling for a return to relevance in ACT politics, judging from his unsolicited advice on ACT budgetry matters, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

“Senator Humphries today made the ludicrous suggestion that GST revenue somehow be separated out from other forms of revenue available to the ACT and that the community be consulted on how it should be spent,” Mr Stanhope said.

“I would have imagined that as a former chief minister of the ACT – albeit briefly – Senator Humphries would be familiar with the extensive consultation that occurs with the community in the lead-up to every ACT Budget.

“Every year, key community organisations are invited, in writing, to help identify priorities for government expenditure and about 100 submissions are received. Coincidentally, the letters requesting input for next year’s Budget were mailed by the Government just last week. In addition, the Government receives constant representations from individuals and organisations throughout the year, and these all feed into Budget considerations.

“I imagine that this consultation is a great deal more thorough than the community consultation the Howard Government has undertaken in relation to how it should spend its own $13.6 billion surplus. Perhaps Senator Humphries can tell the people of the ACT what representations he has made on their behalf in relation to that particular pot of money.”

Mr Stanhope said it was intriguing that federal politicians continued to portray the GST as somehow different to other forms of revenue, and to portray increases in GST revenue as some kind of ‘windfall’, particularly when the Howard Government was simultaneously ripping away from the ACT $13.5 million in corporate affairs compensation over the next three years.

“What has Senator Humphries done to represent Canberrans on that score?” the Chief Minister asked.

Mr Stanhope said it was also intriguing that the Howard Government seemed to think the alleged GST ‘windfall’ could be split infinite ways, like the magic pudding.

“In recent times we have been counselled by the Commonwealth to spend this ‘windfall’ on health or skills or to offset the cost of petrol. Now we are being advised to ask the people of Canberra where it should go. The GST is a tax, pure and simple, no different to any other tax. It goes into consolidated revenue, just like the revenue gained from every other source. Senator Humphries would do better to focus on how he might best represent the interests of the ACT from the backbench of an impotent Senate than to be nostalgically longing for a return to local relevance.”

Jey 3:01 pm 06 Oct 05

I noticed them! I even rung them up about one in my street. They fixed it pretty quickly but it’s quite a band-aid job.

Growling Ferret 2:57 pm 06 Oct 05

How about spending a few million bucks on road safety measures, as well as investing in a couple of visible patrol cars (and RBT’s outside of Christmas) rather than static, useless speed camera vans.

It might help slow down motorists on roads that aren’t speed camera designated

Or maybe even fix some of the million potholes on Canberra roads that have appeared in the last 6 months. (Am I the only one who has noticed this?)

Thumper 2:54 pm 06 Oct 05


Maelinar 2:29 pm 06 Oct 05

how about paying the Federal Government $47million to move to somewhere else ?

Thumper 1:35 pm 06 Oct 05


a direct injection of funds into ACT Mental Health as it is a basket case at present.

Indi 1:30 pm 06 Oct 05

More social housing in satelite towns…that worked in Moscow.

colsim 1:26 pm 06 Oct 05

How about replacing the middle bit of Northbourne ave with a series of in ground trampolines?

Thumper 1:16 pm 06 Oct 05

What about digging a canal all the way to the coast?

that way we could have the Port of Canberra, and seagulls, and um.. seagulls, and…seagulls!

Evictor 1:11 pm 06 Oct 05

What about an escalator to nowhere? Or a matchstick skyscraper.

Although what I’d really like to see is the money pumped into a program which deals with the domestic violence issues prevalent in the land rights for gay whales activist community in Timor.

Thumper 12:21 pm 06 Oct 05

I want to see a giant white statue of Stanhope on Mount Anslie, you know, kind of like Rio….

Thats got to put a big whole in the money.

ssanta 12:12 pm 06 Oct 05

I would like to see Canberra have a crack at the world biggest rubber band. An awesome way to blow a few million i reckon. No lightrail.

simto 11:56 am 06 Oct 05

Well, I suppose it’s a case of “if Stanhope’s going to talk about stuff outside of his juristiction, so will I”.

Which is not to say that it’s at all a good idea (“he started it” stopped being a good excuse for me about the time I turned five).

Kerces 11:36 am 06 Oct 05

Senator Gary Humphries needs to remember that he is no longer an ACT politician and that the GST revenue comes to the states and territories in the form of untied grants.

This means the federal government can’t tell them what to do with the money, including saying the community should say what happens to it. The system was designed to stop the big brawls every year when the treasurers met to decide who got how much of the Commonwealth pie and what for.

Senator Humphries should know this, he was Canberra’s Deputy Chief Minister when the GST deal was being sorted out.

Sure, there may be some merit in the idea of asking Canberrans what they want done with the unexpected extra revenue, but it is not Senator Humphries’s place to be telling the ACT Government what to do.

Smackbang 11:29 am 06 Oct 05

“Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!”

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